Police walk to the scene where Douglas Notten was killed during a hike in Echo Valley in the vicinity of Tuinkloof. 
Picture: Leon Knipe
Cape Town - Hikers have been under attack in the past month with more than 10 people stabbed and mugged on the mountain trails above Kalk Bay.

Last weekend a man was stabbed to death while hiking with his wife in Echo Valley. Before that on January 13, five people were airlifted out of Silvermine after sustaining serious injuries when nine hikers were stabbed and mugged. Earlier that day four people were attacked at St James Peak.

SANParks spokesperson Janine Raftopoulos said the national parks service was working with law enforcement and security to help make the areas around Table Mountain safer.

“Since the incidents, we have increased security with more patrols and more rangers. We are reviewing our park security plan for the mountain. It’s a high priority for us but what the public need to understand is that because the park is open access we cannot man it at all times.

"Table Mountain is not like other parks because it’s located close to an urban area it becomes a hotspot for crime,” she said.

Raftopoulos added that hikers need to be vigilant at all times. “No one should be hiking or running alone. We’re still seeing instances on a daily basis of people who are running alone early in the morning. We’ve also seen that people are taking to carrying pepper spray with them and sticks.”

Police spokesperson André Traut said stabbings were being investigated as a priority but no suspects had been identified or apprehended yet.

“Resources are deployed on a daily basis to provide safety and security to people visiting the area and to search for possible suspects.”

Avid hiker Taahir Osman said not enough was being done to beef up security and asked how many more incidents needed to occur until more proactive action is taken.

“After the knife attack on the nine hikers in Kalk Bay we had a killing in the same mountain range recently. Clearly there is no action being taken to ensure safety in national parks,” he said.

Osman has formed the Take Back Our Mountains movement, which is a group of 80 hikers that aims to hike to crime hotspots once a month.

Weekend Argus